Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pedaling Fast & Furious

Over on Commute by Bike, an online buddy of mine who runs the site, Ted Johnson, wrote a piece about a soon-to-be-released movie: Action Heroes on Bikes.

Now, Ted isn't sure he likes the premise of the movie; where the "hero" is one of those infuriating, scofflaw NY bike messengers who give urban bicyclists a bad name.

But I'm thinking this may be just what us avid bike commuters need: an ANTIHERO! Think of the Fast and Furious movie franchise. The "heroes" of those movies destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars in automobiles and transportation infrastructure, not to mention probably injuring or killing many innocent bystanders (although they don't show THAT in the flicks).

But every release of a new Fast and Furious movie results in a significant uptick in street racing, accidents and sales of high performance auto parts: Increased accident rates: Fast and Furious.

And people, especially young males, LIKE that!

So maybe we NEED a lawless bike hero for the movies! It'll make bicycles COOL. It may increase the urge to "live on the edge" for some folks. It'll increase the sales of bikes and accessories!

But we need a "better antihero" than a universally hated bike messenger, so here's MY idea.


It's a quiet, weekday morning in a middle-sized town in America. Say some place like Flagstaff, Arizona (where Ted is based). With the sun just peaking up behind the mountains to the east, two pretty gals meet up to bike commute to work. It's summer, so they're wearing light, translucent, strapless summer dresses and heels, sorta like this:

As they ride, the fitful winds around their bicycles cause their dresses to float up, revealing their shapely, toned legs. All smiles and light conversation, they do not notice the black SUV parked in the dark alleyway they pass.

The two girls are just a block away when the driver of the SUV starts the engine, switches on the headlights and pulls onto the road behind them. The truck catches up to the bikes, but instead of passing them it slows and follows. Every few seconds, the driver of the sinister truck stomps the accelerator, spinning the rear tires and lurching up to within inches of the rear wheels of the bikes. Each time the truck surges forward, it gets closer and closer to the now frightened women.

The SUV backs off for a final time, the two gals are sure it will run them down with the very next lunge, and out of nowhere a blue blur appears from a cross street on the left. As it passes between the truck and the bikes, the villains can see that the blue object is a sleek, recumbent bicycle ridden by a fellow of retirement age. With a primal cry, the impudent old geezer heaves a baseball sized rock into the truck's windshield, creating a star burst crack almost a foot in diameter.

The truck driver loses all interest in the women, squealing around to the right to pursue the blue 'bent as it rolls away. Even though it is a steep downhill road, and the low slung bicycle is speeding along at almost forty miles per hour, the powerful V8 of the SUV is allowing it to gain on the bike.

But the road curves quickly to left, and to the dismay of the villains they see that even though they will make the turn there is no way they can stop before they reach the end of the curve: the clever bicyclist has led them down a street which becomes a multi-use path. With the sharp, sickening sound of two metal garbage cans banging together, the SUV strikes the sturdy concrete posts which block motor vehicles from continuing; concrete posts which the recumbent bike has easily zoomed between just seconds before the truck.

Moments later, all three bicyclists rush up to the now quiet, smoking vehicle. Our mature hero wrenches open the driver's side door and the identities of the baddies are revealed:

Why, it's that dastardly pair --- the authors of that anti-bike, anti-pedestrian manifesto Out of Gas --- Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn!

The pretty female bicyclists fall upon our grizzled hero, knocking him down and raining kisses all over his prostrate form in appreciation of his brave deeds.

--- THE END ---

Okay, so Cote de Pablo --- one of the stars of television's NCIS and the gal in the picture above --- is perfect for one of our damsels in distress. Who should play the other girl?

Oh yeah, and who should play Our Hero? Hmmm. Gotta ride a blue 'bent, and be in his sixties, and be dashingly handsome. Dang. That's tough.


  1. Moviegoers are expected to suspend disbelief. But a hero on a recumbent? That's just expecting too much.

  2. Aw, c'mon, Ted. Are you saying that a movie-going public which believes in a 50-foot tall ape won't believe that a 61-year-old unapologetic Liberal can make a couple of Republican senators pissed off enough to chase him in their SUV?


  3. The other girl clearly has to be Monica Bellucci. And I can't wait for the SQL. :)